In education, there are always certain buzzwords you hear. Differentiation, personalized learning, critical thinking, innovation, to name a few. These words get used a lot, but what do they really mean? How do they look – as actions – in a classroom, and most importantly, are our students truly becoming prepared for the future?
After all, isn’t school the place for students to think critically and become prepared to be productive citizens with succesful career opportunities?
But… WHAT careers are we preparing them for, and in WHICH century? The process of rote memorization, constantly teaching whole group lessons, limited creative opportunities, collaboration or choice, and having low expectations in addition to several other ineffective teaching practices isn’t preparing students to be successful in THIS century.
So, in addition to effective teaching, ownership, choice & motivation, what will further prepare students for to be productive in this century? #MakerEd.
The Maker Education Movement typically involves STEM activities with 3-D printing, robotics, science and engineering. However, becoming a “maker” doesn’t require technology (Martinez, 2015). Makers use tools like cardboard boxes, aluminum cans, old plastic piping – anything! Makers explore ways to simply create a project, a toy, a game, a new invention, a tool to help to solve a problem – possibilities are endless! By MAKING, students are given the creative outlets necessary to fully explore the depths of their learning. Their best educational experiences are literally in their hands!
Participating in maker education prepares students for careers in this century. Collaboration, problem-solving, self-discipline, and resilience are only a few of the many essential concepts being developed in students who participate in #MakerEd. With each creation, students develop skills necessary to become the greatest scientists, inventors and innovators of all time (Martinez, 2015). Honestly, who do you think will be the caretakers of our future? Our next president, the next Nobel Peace Prize winner, a disease curing scientist, or even the next Steve Jobs!? It all lies in the hands of today’s inspiring youth.
I have researched and participated in the Maker Movement, and I’m thrilled to say that I’m going to make it a goal of mine to get people more involved with it. To share my thinking and research, I have created an infographic using a website called Piktochart.
I’ll leave you with a final quote to think about. It comes from Libby Falck, a writer for Forbes Magazine.
“If we wish to build a thriving and responsive economy, the future of education cannot be about giving students the skills to fill jobs; it must be about giving them the skills to CREATE jobs” (Falck, 2014)
Falck, L. (2014, July 29). Beyond the Maker Movement: How the ChangeMakers Are the Future of Education. Retrieved August 11, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/singularity/2014/07/29/beyond-the-maker-movement-how-the-changemakers-are-the-future-of-education/#48e3e1cc3b84
Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2015, April 3). WeAreTeachers: Making Matters! How the Maker Movement Is Transforming Education. Retrieved August 11, 2016, from http://www.weareteachers.com/blogs/post/2015/04/03/how-the-maker-movement-is-transforming-education